Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » More reform and renewal - pigs at the perpetual trough edition
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More reform and renewal - pigs at the perpetual trough edition

Saturday, Sep 30, 2006

The party never ends.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, seeking a contractor to oversee the establishment of a major Southern Illinois recreational facility in late 2003, bypassed the downstate firm that had already done the master plan for the project.

Instead, the administration handpicked a Chicago company that had contributed almost $30,000 in charter plane flights to Blagojevich’s 2002 campaign.

Since then, the Sparta World Shooting & Recreational Facility, heralded by Blagojevich as a boon for Southern Illinois’ economy, has also been a boon for that contributor, Knight E/A Inc. The Chicago engineering firm has received more than $2.5 million so far from its no-bid contract as construction manager of the Sparta project. […]

Knight Infrastructure, meanwhile, had already become a major political supporter of Blagojevich. During the 2002 campaign, records show, Knight donated charter plane services to Blagojevich on six occasions, at a value of more than $29,726. Wolfe, the Knight company president, gave Blagojevich a personal $10,000 contribution in September 2002, and another $5,000 in June 2003 - right around the time the administration was deciding how to proceed on the Sparta project.

Yet another unintentional coinkidink, according to the Blagojevich administration. Those contributions may look carefully timed and influential, but they weren’t. Nope. That would be wrong.

Peruse more stories on the relationship between Knight and the governor here and here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Squideshi - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 1:34 pm:

    This is why we need to ban contributions from state contractors, and Rich Whitney is the only candidate proposing this type of ethics reform.


  2. - Guy Fawkes - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 1:37 pm:

    Did Knight E/A Inc. or Wolfe write any checks out to Governor Blagojevich’s daughters for birthday, Christening, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Festivus?


  3. - Anonymous - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rod just has to be dreading every weekend these days. This is the third week in a row that he’s gotten his buttocks handed to him. And I haven’t even seen tomorrow’s Trib yet, I’m curious to see if they go for the trifecta.


  4. - Martha Mitchell - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 6:55 pm:

    This man and his sychophants all have no shame. It’s like he’s daring the feds to charge him with something. He thinks he’s above the law and has defied the federal system with his prescription plan and with his hiring schemes, as well as All Kids. Another big one is on the way.


  5. - Anon - Saturday, Sep 30, 06 @ 9:55 pm:

    One important fact left out of the above report: Knight Infrastructure (now called Knight E/A) is controlled by Republicans. The firm is managed by a partnership owned by Peter Fox, a prominent Downstate developer who served in the cabinet of Jim Thompson. Kim Fox (Peter’s wife) was one of Jim Thompson’s top fundraisers.

    Another owner is Catherine Prange, the wife of Nicholas Hurtgen. Hurtgen and Republican Bob Kjellander worked together on the $10 billion bond deal – the one in which Kjellander received a $800,000 fee for which he can’t explain what he did to earn.

    Although Knight contributed to Blagojevich’s campaign fund, Republicans have received the bulk of Knight’s contributions.

    When all is said in done both Democrats and Republicans will be hurt. Another case of Democrats and Republicans working together to screw the taxpayers.


  6. - Cassandra - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    And there are those who still say that Blagojevich is not selling state jobs and contracts and that blog posters need more proof before making such allegations. I understand the need of former Republican honchos to work their way back into Blago’s good graces, but really.

    Good investment return for Knight though. They paid out $45,000 in rides and cash and got a $2.5 million no-bid contract. Where in the market
    can you get those returns.

    As I’ve said before, Illinoisians have already decided that corruption is ok by electing pols like Blagojevich, Daley and Ryan. So why not sell the contracts outright and put the money in state coffers. For a $2.5 million no-bid, the state could likely make more than $45,000 on the open market. Instead of enhancing Blago’s campaign/retirement fund, the money reaped from selling state contracts directly could go to the schools, etc.


  7. - Merit - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 1:16 pm:

    Just another in the long line of crooks that have run our state. He will be in jail in less that four years…


  8. - Angie - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 2:40 pm:

    Good grief! As someone who worked in the healthcare industry in the past, I have to say that I’m not at all surprised about all of these rather interesting coincidences where people get cushy jobs/promotions if they support Democrats like Rod Blagojevich. I worked at a company where a top exec, during the FIRST WEEK of employee orientation for brand new hires, went around the room grilling every single new hire as to how they voted. I mean, he pointed at everyone and asked if they were Democrat or Republican. Wow. I was stunned. Then, I noted that a Democrat suddenly got promoted within a month, even before her trial period was up. She was an awesome employee, I do have to say, but why did they bump her up before the 3 month trial was even up? Suspicious in my opinion, especially since our supervisor was openly liberal, but now I see how the healthcare industry folks are really cozy with the Blagojevich administration. I mean, I’m just not surprised at all to read this stuff.

    By the way, the first website you see when searching those ties to Blago is wherethemoneygoes.com, a blog on the whole healthcare/hospital scandal issue. Great blog! Say what you will about past ties to Eddie V., but one of Editor Novak’s more recent clients was Poshard, and if you Google a piece called “You may be paying for corruption,” you’ll see a nice word about Poshard being honest and ethical (in the little news writeup that appears on Northwestern University’s Kellogg Management news page). The reporter of the piece is Alice Hohl, by the way.

    Novak definitely appears to be onto something big with the whole healthcare industry. Too many interesting coincidences with Blagojevich, wouldn’t you say? And when team Poshard was desperately trying to blow open the Ryan scandal back in 1998, no one listened at first. And weren’t they RIGHT in the end?

    Keep up with the healthcare angle as far as Blago is concerned. Lots of interesting (cough) coincidences going on in that industry. Way too many to doubt that it is all pure coincidence, in my opinion.

    Hope the reporters are all being good skeptics, too. This Gov’s whole career just smacks of “pay to play” innuendo.


  9. - desperate - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    another example of the dastardly deeds this administration is full of. Business as ususla, eh? O you are so full of crap Rodney. Go Judy or Rich- Go!


  10. - And to add... - Sunday, Oct 1, 06 @ 3:26 pm:

    Notice the clever ploy that Rod has come up with for explaining the appearance of ethics issues within his administration? He argues that hey, we’re seeeing all this because I’m here, and I’m helping to weed out the corruption, so don’t blame me when you see all of the roaches scurrying around.

    What a lame excuse. Get one big can of RAID and clean house a little faster there. It would happen if someone would only start doing it right.


  11. - roadkill - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 5:31 am:

    Can you say “Pay to Play.” Even if it’s a coincidence as the administration says, this is an example of how they take a heavy handed approach, which almost always leads to higher costs for capital projects.

    At IDOT we’ve had simple building expansions that should have cost no more than $150,000 ending up costing twice that much once the Capital Development Board and a Chicago based architect (which fouled up the plans twice) got done with them. There are probably dozens of similar examples from other agencies across the state.


  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 7:47 am:

    9:55 anon, if you followed the links Rich rovided that “important fact” was mentioned in several of the articles, including the CORRECT fact that Mrs. Hurtgen sold her interest in the firm after her husband started having legal problems.

    A more important fact from where I sit is that the firm and Fox were named in the subpoena of TRS last year, meaning they have been on Fed radar for quite some time.

    Do you suppose this has anything to do with yet another coinkidink-Fox owns a piece of an airplane leasing company?

    Hmmm..deja Stu all over again, and there’s Blago, wheels up and clueless.


  13. - Gregor - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 7:49 am:

    I alays wondered why Blago, who has always been a staunch anti-gun person politically, first opposed, then suddenly embraced Sparta’s shooting complex. Now we know: it’s all about the benjamins.


  14. - DOWNSTATE - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 9:47 am:

    The even bigger story is who has allowed this kind of expense.The cost was going to be 20 million then 30 million and now they want more which some estimates are saying 50 million.Why doesn’t other legislators take a hard look at cuts in their parks so that Knights fat piggies can be fed.


  15. - steve schnorf - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 10:59 am:

    Unless something dramatic has changed in the past couple of years, Knight is a good company and has been a good vendor to the state for many years.


  16. - Illinois Tollway Guy - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 11:36 am:

    The Feds & FBI should check out how much money Knight E/A Inc. of Chicago reaped from the Illinois Tollway. They were involved in Tollway oases (Tony Rezko) fiasco from the start!
    No more business as usual, What BS!


  17. - Dawg - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:03 pm:

    And what gets me the most, is the Dems will put this lying snake back in office! At least the Repubs got rid of thier slug 4 years ago!
    I just makes me ill!!!!


  18. - PalosParkBob - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:23 pm:

    Correction, Dawg, our “lying snakes” are still around. They’re on the Statewide ticket and running the Party in Illinois!


  19. - Huh? - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 3:35 pm:

    HDR is the firm that got beat out by Knight. HDR hasn’t got much work from the state lately because they don’t engage in the pay to play. Over the weekend, I went to the state board of elections and did a search of the contributions in the governor’s race. Not once did I see an individual donation that stated their employer was HDR. HDR is a really good firm. It’s too bad they aren’t getting more work.


  20. - Just Wonderin' - Monday, Oct 2, 06 @ 4:48 pm:

    I noticed that this news was buried in the mid-section of the SJ-R in Monday’s edition. Calamity Jane took the front page…


  21. - HogsInWiscosnin - Monday, Oct 9, 06 @ 10:49 am:

    The amazing thing is that this corruption has bled north to Wiscosnin. Knight E/A was the number one earner of State Contracts last year. Hurtgen and his Brother-in-Law held a fundraiser for the Govenror and Knight execs gave Thou$and$. Also, usual supect and business partner to Prange/Hurtgen named Ed Aprahamian also gave thousands.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Illinois Policy Institute news service scores exclusive Rauner interview
* Dispute erupts over how many people can attend a meeting
* ILGOP unleashes robocalls in wake of Senate tax hike vote
* It's just a bill
* Question of the day
* It's not 4.95 percent, it's 5.81 percent for the rest of this year
* Far more heat than light
* Caption contest!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** "Eyes are back on to the Senate"?
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Mendoza warns of "breaking point"
* Can an oligarch be a progressive?
* *** UPDATED x2 - Kennedy responds - Pawar responds *** Pritzker, Biss respond to Senate budget votes
* In her dreams
* Support High-Performing Charter Schools
* "I’m a big believer in win-win"
* Unkind headlines
* Modernize the Vital Records Act - Support HB 1785
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* BRIEFS - Herald & Review..
* Day after Senate budget vote, GOP tries to push.....
* Day after Senate budget vote, GOP tries to push.....
* Day after Senate budget vote, GOP tries to push.....


* Family sues Naperville high school, police over teen's death
* Excavation for possible graves starts at future jail site
* EXCHANGE: Nursing students' real-life experiences are vital
* Fastest growing US cities are in South; 4 of top 5 in Texas
* Chicago train service to install new camera system
* Chicago schools to borrow about $900 million
* Senate bills seek tougher Great Lakes pipeline standards
* Legislative hearing takes up Illinois child welfare agency
* Former pizzeria operator guilty of drug charges
* Grand jury indicts man in fatal shooting of judge

* Trump budget draws different Illinois reviews
* Bernard Schoenburg: Senate Democrats take action; situation still tense
* Illinois House begins review of Senate Democrats' budget plan
* Senate OKs bill allowing AT&T to shift resources from older technology
* Lawmakers hear about high caseloads, pressure at DCFS
* House Democrats propose college grant program
* Senate Dems approve $5.4B tax increase; budget fight continues
* Budget showdown: Senate Dems approve $5.4B tax increase
* Budget showdown: Senate Dems approve $5B tax increase
* Red-light cameras rake in millions for Chicago suburbs

* Massive Union Station project gets a developer
* United CEO: Dragging incident needs 'to be constant reminder'
* A new South Loop high school? CPS will look at it.
* Feeling bold? Then Illinois bonds may be for you
* Illinois budget spotlight shifts to Madigan


* Kids with an adult can ride Metra for free all summer
* 14-year-old boy among 2 shot in Little Village
* Man, woman robbed near Obama’s Kenwood home
* 1 dead, 7 wounded in Chicago shootings Wednesday
* Chicago commuter train service to install new camera system
* Man wounded in Little Village shooting
* Man shot after argument in Lawndale
* 14-year-old boy shot in Austin
* Police: 16-year-old found boy shot to death in South Shore
* Kyle Hendricks sharp again, beats Giants as Cub rotation shapes up


* All aboard: Joliet Rocket steamin' into town
* Cheap out: Five fun things to do for free
* Quigley says Russia probe is 'in its infancy'
* Chicago in epicenter of charter school teacher contract disputes
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 5/25/17
* Ring of Honor champ Daniels returns to Chicago Ridge
* Teen shot dead, another teen wounded in Wednesday shootings
* Montana GOP candidate cited for assault after reporter says he was slammed to the ground
* Anthony Rizzo's two homers pave way for balanced Cubs attack
* Chicago only major U.S. city to lose population from 2015 to 2016


» Illinois Issues: Should 10-Year-Old Kids Be Kept In Juvenile Detention?
» Chicago Public Schools Look To Borrow $900 Million
» United CEO To Investors: We'll Be More Focused On Customers
» Red-Light Cameras Rake In Millions For Chicago Suburbs
» Judge Delays Decision On How Quickly State Should Pay Medicaid
» How Would Trump’s Budget Affect Illinois?
» Illinois Democrats Pass Budget Proposal in Senate
» Illinois Senate Approves Tax Hike, $37B Budget Plan
» Chicago Teachers Give Schools Chief No Confidence Vote
» Palatine Transgender Student To Graduate, But Locker Room Debate Continues


* Sounding the Alarm: Unacceptable
* Trump budget draws different Illinois reviews
* Bernard Schoenburg: Senate Democrats take action; situation still tense
* Our View: Cohesion needs to be central part of YWCA block decisions
* Illinois House begins review of Senate Democrats' budget plan
* Our View: Cohesion needs to be central part of Y block decisions
* Senate OKs bill allowing AT&T to shift resources from older technology
* Lawmakers hear about high caseloads, pressure at DCFS
* Sounding the Alarm: Unacceptable
* Sounding the Alarm: Time to take action


* Civic center hits $500K fundraising goal ahead of schedule
* Photo: On the road again
* Winery, music spot on tap for city
* Plan proposes governor, lieutenant governor share resources
* Photo: A tire(ing) day
* Nursing student inducted into honor society
* Reader photo: All in a row
* Commentary: Hard to lead without working
* Commentary: Work hard and put people first
* 3 more shows for ‘Three Musketeers’


* Trump meeting with EU leaders
* IN Forecast
* Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion
* The Latest: Philippines using helicopters to clear militants
* IN Marine Warning and Forecast

* Sweet: Hultgren, Roskam, Kinzinger avoid b...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* House GOP takes first steps to undo financ...
* Batavia resident announces candidacy for 1...
* Protesters continue die-in at US Rep. Rand...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* PHOTOS: Protesters stage die-in at Randy H...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene ...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...

* Dick Durbin statement on CBO's analysis of......
* Dick Durbin statement on CBO's analysis of......

* Congressional Budget Office: House bill to......
* Local legislators blast Trump plan - Quad-......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Is government too political?
* Queer and proud in a cool protester outfit
* Jon Mueller and Mike Weis meditate with drums at the Zen Buddhist Temple-Chicago
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers #16. Globalization.
* Losers!
* A zombie rides Pegasus into the sun on the gig poster of the week
* Black Cinema House honors the art of the shoeshine
* State Capitol Report: Senate’s unanimous vote for PACE bond bill and more
* Three more local ROTYs to recognize at June 6 ROTY banquet


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Apple Transitions App Store Pricing to Local Currency in 9 Countries
* API Documentation Browser 'Dash' Returns to iOS App Store As a Free Download
* Xiaomi Mi Max 2 amazingly starts at reasonable $250 with a ginormous battery, screen and 4GB RAM
* Xiaomi’s new Mi Max 2 smartphone claims a two-day battery
* New Acer Iconia Tab 10 sports Quantum Dot display, Iconia One 10 has two USB ports
* Samsung Pay in Hong Kong transitions into full service
* Samsung Gear 360 goes on sale on Thursday, May 25th

* Kopech, Giolito starting on Thursday
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Quintana: Location culprit for big-inning woes
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Sox welcome Detroit for doubleheader
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Shields pleased with arm after 'pen session


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller